By Austin T. Roebuck

After much anticipation by its grassroots supporters and by members of the arts-loving community at large, the Kayenta Arts Foundation is proud to announce the grand opening of the Lorraine Boccardo Theater at its new Center for the Arts at Kayenta venue in Ivins.

With its mission to develop and create an environment that fosters diverse artistic endeavors for educational and enrichment purposes, the Kayenta Arts Foundation built the new venue to bring a new appreciation for the arts to southern Utah.

Located at 881 Coyote Gulch Court in Ivins, the center was dedicated May 5 with the support of Ivins Mayor Chris Hart, who lovingly touts the establishment as a gem and an artistic and cultural resource for all of Washington County.

To the Kayenta Arts Foundation, the Center for the Arts at Kayenta’s very existence is a blessing from above.

“When the foundation was formed, we had no idea that we would embark on the design and construction of an art center within the first couple of years of our existence,” said Kayenta Arts Foundation chair Judith Kapuscinski, “but the stars and planets aligned, creating the perfect storm to make the possibility of an arts center a reality sooner rather than later.”

Featuring a 3,000-square-foot customizable black-box style theater space seating up to 200, the Lorraine Boccardo Theater will be at the heart of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta’s inaugural season of events:

—Pre-grand opening performances by Muzicka (an internationally acclaimed Czech cimbalovka ensemble) Sept. 21 and Rosin (an eclectic cello duo) Sept. 23 as well as Latin Roots Dance Company with Andean Flutes Oct. 6 and Coyote Tales Storytelling Oct. 7.

—A grand opening musical, “[title of show],” Oct. 20, 21, 26, and 28.

—A “Magic, Mystery and Macabre” Halloween event with the St. George Opera Oct. 30 along with a 4 p.m. kids show with trick-or-treating and a 7:30 p.m. performance and party for ages 21 and up (costumes encouraged!).

—A lecture by renowned educator Ron Smith Nov. 8.

—A holiday music concert featuring the DSU Chamber Singers and the Snow Canyon High School Jazz Band and Madrigals Dec. 7.

—The “Enchanted World of Dolls,” an interactive maze of live performers in native costume, Dec 15–23.

—Neil Simon’s “The Dinner Party” Jan. 17–20.

—“Vietnam Through My Lens: Direct from NYC” featuring Vietnam War photojournalist Stu Richel, Feb. 16–18.

—A triple concert celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday in March.

—A concert featuring the St. George Chamber Singers April 14.

—The Kayenta Street Painting Festival April 25–26.

“We are casting a wide net and filling it with a fantastic range of artistic endeavors to delight and entertain our broad community and art enthusiasts,” said Jan Broberg, executive director of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta. “I’m so excited to welcome our entire southern Utah family to be a part of the art!”

Planning for the grand opening weekend of events is already under way with two gala performances and an extended run of the Broadway musical “[title of show]” — the name of the best Broadway musical you’ve ever heard of. This funny, slightly irreverent, uplifting musical has The New York Times claiming it’s “obsessively and hilariously self referential” and “far funnier than many of the more expensively manufactured musicals that make it to Broadway.” “[title of show]” even received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical in 2009. “[title of show]” will make its southern Utah premiere as the debut theatrical performance at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta Oct. 20.

“Enriching the lives of our growing and already broad population in this region is an exciting aspect of our mission”, said Broberg. “Our grand opening will give new flavor and insight into the common ground we share as humans … exactly what outstanding, powerful art is meant to do!”

The Kayenta Arts Foundation aims to be the premier venue in the greater southern Utah area for awareness, appreciation, education, and enjoyment of diverse artistic endeavors.

With a beautiful new venue set in a location unlike anywhere else in the world and a list of visual and performing arts events lined up for the season, the Kayenta Arts Foundation is excited to finally open its doors.

The time has come. The doors are opening, the curtain is rising, and everyone is welcome!

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit kayentaarts.com.

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